Back from a weekend in Nashville with some girlfriends! It was my first time visiting and most certainly won’t be my last. We spent most of the time walking around and exploring, but my favorite parts were watching the live local music and buying Noelle a pair of pink cowgirl boots!!!
Wanted to share a crazy flavorful and delicious flatbread recipe with you this week. I published a homemade flatbread dough on my blog a couple years ago– a 1 hour pizza dough that we SWEAR BY. I make this dough a few times each month because it’s quick and convenient, especially when I have a bunch of random toppings to use up. Just last week I brushed the dough with olive oil and minced garlic, then topped with a thin layer of hummus, chopped fresh spinach, and lots of goat cheese. So random, but so simple and hit the spot!!
My latest favorite flatbread is this snazzy pesto and sausage combo. I paired it with mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes, topped it all with crushed red pepper, and served it to our friends who brought their son over for a playdate. We snacked on it before dinner and they said it was one of the best pizzas they’d ever had. It’s cheesy, salty, saucy, garlicky, spicy, savory, and best of all: homemade.
Pre-made pizza dough is definitely convenient, but did you know that it only requires a few basic ingredients? My flatbread dough only needs 1 hour to rise and you can freeze/thaw it for a quick 20 minute dinner when you don’t feel like cooking.
The recipe yields 2 individual flatbread pizzas. They’re relatively small and can easily feed 2-3 people with a couple leftover pieces for lunch. You only need:
- sugar + water to feed/activate the yeast
- olive oil
Add herbs and seasonings to the dough like garlic powder, lemon pepper, or Italian seasoning or leave it plain. The real fun comes with the toppings!!
I used my basil pesto recipe and added extra garlic. Use my recipe, another pesto recipe you love, or pick up a jar from the store. But, like homemade flatbread dough, fresh homemade pesto tastes best! I love it on salads, with scrambled eggs, in my turkey wraps, or spread on grilled chicken. Very summery, very fresh, very versatile!
Use whatever sausage you and your family enjoy. I crumbled up pork sausage, but sliced turkey or chicken sausage would be awesome here. If it’s not cooked, sauté it prior to piling on the pizza.
After the dough has risen, punch it down and divide in two. If desired, this dough can be used as 1 large flatbread, but the larger it is, the longer it takes in the oven.
Use your hands or rolling pin to flatten the dough out. Let the dough take on whatever shape it wants to– shape doesn’t matter, thickness does. This is flatbread, so make sure it’s pretty thin before you add the toppings.
TIP: Poke the dough with your fingers or prick with a fork to reduce any large air bubbles as the flatbread bakes.
I roll out/arrange the flatbreads on parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, then pick the whole thing up and place on a baking sheet. No special pizza pan or pizza stone required.
Flatbread only needs about 15 minutes in a hot oven. See what I mean about FAST?
MAKE IT YOUR OWN
- Add some fresh basil or arugula when the flatbread comes out of the oven.
- Instead of sun-dried tomatoes, slice up some heirloom tomatoes or leave them off completely.
- Sauté some mushrooms, kale, or peppers with the sausage.
- Add caramelized onions.
- Use any cheese you love!
- Have some breath mints for dessert.
There aren’t really any rules here; sausage and garlic pesto are good with pretty much everything! Flatbread is your opportunity to get creative and discover some new flavors and pairings. Here’s to a delicious week!
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for brushing the dough
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cooked or uncooked sausage*
- 1 cup homemade pesto*
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes or sliced fresh tomatoes*
- optional: crushed red pepper flakes
- Make the crust: Place the yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Or, if you do not own a stand mixer, a regular large mixing bowl. Pour warm water on top. Whisk gently to combine, then loosely cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should be frothy after 5 minutes. If not, start over with new yeast.
- If you do not have a mixer, you can mix by hand in this step. With the stand mixer running on low speed, add the flour, olive, oil, and salt. Beat on low speed for 1 minute as it all combines. The dough should be thick and shaggy. Transfer it to a lightly floured work surface, including any loose flour. Knead it with your hands for 2 minutes until it all begins to come together and becomes smooth. If the dough is too sticky to handle, add 1-2 more Tablespoons of flour.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl (I use nonstick spray to grease) and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit and rest for 35-45 minutes. Once it has rested and slightly risen, you can place it in the fridge for up to 2 days. More instructions in the make ahead tip below.
- As the dough is resting and rising, prepare the toppings. Make the homemade pesto and cook the sausage if it’s not cooked. I crumbled up uncooked pork sausage and browned it on the stove for about 5 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 475°F (246°C).
- Shape the dough: Punch the dough down to release any air. Divide the dough into two. On a lightly floured surface with floured hands and working with one dough piece at a time, begin shaping and stretching the dough until it is 1/4 inch thick. You can use a floured rolling pin for this too. Don’t worry about the shape of the dough, just make sure it’s pretty thin. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Carefully transfer both pieces of dough to a parchment paper or silicone-mat lined baking sheet, or use a pizza stone. (You can also shape/roll out the doughs directly on a large sheet of parchment if that is easier for you and then just transfer the whole thing to the baking sheet.)
- Poke your fingers all around the surface of the flatbreads or prick a few holes with a fork. Drizzle or brush each with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil. Spread about 1/3 cup of pesto on each then top with mozzarella, tomatoes, and finish with sausage. (Reserve remaining pesto for topping.)
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust and toppings are browned to your liking. Remove from the oven and spoon remaining pesto on top. If desired, finish with a sprinkle of crushed red pepper. Slice and serve warm.
- Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Make ahead tip: The sausage can be cooked a few days in advance; just keep in the refrigerator until ready to use. The pesto can also be prepared in advance. Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 2-3 months. The dough can be prepared through step 3, then after it has risen, cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Continue with step 5. To freeze the dough, prepare it through step 3. After it has risen, punch it down to release any air. Divide it in 2, if desired, then wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator. Then let the dough sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before stretching out/shaping and topping.
- I used the full recipe (1 cup) for my homemade pesto, but I added an extra clove of garlic. Super garlicky! You can use any pesto, homemade or store-bought, that you love. Feel free to add some minced fresh garlic to the toppings if your pesto isn’t garlicky enough.
- Use whatever sausage you and your family enjoy. I crumbled up pork sausage, but sliced turkey or chicken sausage would be great too. If it’s not cooked, cook it prior to piling on the pizza as suggested in step 4.
- I used 4 sun-dried tomato slices per flatbread. Feel free to pile more on or use thinly sliced fresh tomato instead. 1/2 cup was a rough measurement. Use however much or little you like.
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